Pentagon & Congress

This week in Congress: More questions about the Afghanistan drawdown

Congress’ review of the military withdrawal from Afghanistan continues this week with a series of hearings on the topic featuring Defense and State Department officials.

On Thursday, David Helvey, acting assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, will testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the troop drawdown. Last week, he spoke to members of the House Armed Services Committee, offering a military commitment to stand up against terrorism but few details on what that will mean in the region.

On Tuesday, members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee will hear about America’s post-military diplomatic stance with Afghanistan from Zalmay Khalilzad, special representative on Afghanistan reconciliation.

All U.S. troops are scheduled to leave the country by Sept. 11, but some lawmakers have express concerns that the total withdrawal could leave Afghan security forces and vulnerable civilian populations at risk. Lawmakers have also pushed the White House to accelerate plans to relocate Afghan allies whose lives may be a risk once U.S. forces leave.

Tuesday, May 18

Senate Armed Services — 9:30 a.m. — G-50 Dirksen
Nominations
The committee will consider the nomination of Gen. Paul LaCamera to serve as head of U.S. Forces Korea.

Senate Appropriations — 10 a.m. — 216 Hart
Guard and Reserve
Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, and the heads of the military services reserve components will testify on the fiscal 2022 budget request.

House Appropriations — 10 a.m. — online hearing
Air Force installations
Air Force and Space Force officials will testify on force quality of life issues and installation needs.

House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — 2172 Rayburn
Afghanistan
Zalmay Khalilzad, special representative on Afghanistan reconciliation, will testify before the committee on the U.S. relationship with Afghanistan following American troop withdrawals.

Senate Armed Services — 2:30 p.m. — 222 Russell
Cyber security
Jesse Salazar, deputy assistant secretary of defense for industrial policy, and other department officials will testify on cyber security and the defense industrial base.

House Armed Services — 4 p.m. — 2118 Rayburn
Military mobility enterprise posture
Gen. Stephen Lyons, head of U.S. Transportation Command, will testify on sealift policy and intra-theater airlift requirements.

Wednesday, May 19

House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — online hearing
VA whistleblowers
Department officials will testify on efforts to protect whistleblowers and respond to their allegations.

House Armed Services — 11 a.m. — 2118 Rayburn
Military service
Officials from the National Commission on Military-National-Public Service will testify on their final report.

House Appropriations — 2 p.m. — online hearing
NASA budget
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson will testify on the agency’s fiscal 2022 budget request.

Senate Veterans' Affairs — 3 p.m. — G-50 Dirksen
Nominations
The committee will consider nominations for VA leadership posts, including Donald Remy to be Deputy VA Secretary.

Senate Appropriations — 3 p.m. — 192 Dirksen
Climate change and the military
Service officials will testify on the potential impact of climate change on military installations and operations.

Senate Armed Services — 4:30 p.m. — 232-A Russell
Atomic defense activities
National Nuclear Security Administration officials will testify on the fiscal 2022 budget request.

Thursday, March 20

House Oversight — 9 a.m. — 2154 Rayburn
Afghanistan
Defense officials will testify on the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

House Appropriations — 10 a.m. — online hearing
Member's day
The subcommittee on military construction and Veterans Affairs will hear suggestions from other members on future priorities for those budget issues.

Senate Armed Services — 10 a.m. — G-50 Dirksen
Afghanistan
David Helvey, acting assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, will testify on the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

House Armed Services — 11 a.m. — 2118 Rayburn
Military technology strategy
Barbara McQuiston, acting Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, and service officials will testify on military technology and science strategy.

House Veterans' Affairs — 12 p.m. — online hearing
VA cyber security
Department officials will testify on cyber security efforts within VA systems.

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